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tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  March 16, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT

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isaac newton. impress, yes, but we're here for
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bones that are older 155 million years older. we're hoo here for dinasaur. we're calling him little al if you're thinking castles and kings, think again. >> we're going to start at 150,000 pounds techknow has travelled here to attend an auction of a very unusual piece. meet al. the juvenile alisaurus. there it is. that is amazing. how old is this? >> this is about 155/160 million years these men are two key players behind what will be a true techknow adventure.
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he is the curator of this action and the owner of the auction house. what stands out to you, what makes this so unique? >> first of all, it's a juvenile alisaurus. it is rare and unique thing. this is the best example of a juvenile one. >> you can see the teeth, they're very sharp. they're designed for grabbing on and not lesing go. these are for cutting and slicing between 300,000 and 500,000 british pounds >> if you walk in to a dinner party and see that, you will say, god, what is that is there an appeal for this? >> they're iconic, aren't they
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there's something new in l.a. dinosaurs are iconic. 1.2 million people came here to see this last year. >> introducing the tr echl x this isn't business as usual. this is the business of bones. you did get a phone call earlier >> yes an interested buyer? >> yes. a buyer who is private, not the museum. he wanted to know the exact size of it the business of bones has been booming since 1997 when chicago's field museum spent 7.6 million dollars on a t-rex named sue.
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dinosaurs replacing many things. >> owning an rembrandt in art, there it is for the past week our lives have been on this specimen. so why sell natural history? >> well, why not? why sell art? why sell clocks? >> we love it as art a juvenile dinosaur has advantages at 9 feet long and three feet high it can fit in your home if you have the right-sized home >> i think he wants to display it in his house as a kind of, if you like, trophy, but i wouldn't like to say he is a trophy hunter here at the museum we are used to seeing things like dinosau dinosaurs, but now private collectors are spending a lot of
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money to have them in their home. what do you think about that? >> that is a cost to science this is the curator here and he discovered this guy, thomas the t-rex museum? >> yes. i think a dinosaur, especially one that is rare, should belong in a museum the bad lands of montana, is where the dinosaur was discovered. digs like this happen every summer. what they find ends up in their collection. this is what field work looks like >> >> you can see the woken here into green museums and scientists are not the
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only ones who organise excavations. the man in charge of this one is raymond. what can you tell me about raymond, the dinosaur hunter. >> he is a qualified geologyist who has been obsessed with fossils. he knows the subject inside out this is the great debate, are science. >> collectors are after the fossil and not much after the context in which the fossil is found. it's really the context that gives you a lot of critical information what would you say to scientists who are concerned about what would happen tomorrow? individual? >> i would say grow up, wake up and realise that this is the
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real world meanwhile, inside the auction house offices, the clock is ticking. tomorrow is the big day. we're about 24 hours away from the auction. how are you feeling? >> we're feeling quite confident. you never know until what happens on the day. what happens on the day is what happens it looks like the next chapter of this specimen's 150 million years of history will just have to wrat to be written this-- wait to be written it could end up? >> anywhere in the world where would you like to see it? >> i would like it to go to a museum, but i don't care if it doesn't coming up, auction day. we're just hours away from this thing happening. >> my fingers and toes are crossed. everything i can cross is crossed
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we will be soon. we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines, beyond the quick cuts, beyond the sound bites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. >> ray suarez hosts "inside story". only on al jazeera america.
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november 25 2015. good morning. today is the day. auction day. quivering in anticipation.
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are you all ready getting calls? >> yes the latest chapter in the story that dates back to the lake begin. >> good morning we're just hours away from this thing happening. how are you feeling? >> nervous but i'm trying to control it you've got hopes? >> everything is crossed this action is full of some pretty amazing exotic things. we've got an hippo skull from africa, some macaws from south africa, but what has everybody is talking about is 150 million years old juvenile dinosaur. today is action day. you must be pretty? >> yes. i'm waiting for tv crews, bbc
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and itn coming hours attracting international attention. it is now mid-morning. just a few hours before the sale. nerves are getting frayed. morning? >> yes, i've just taken three any last-minute things? >> several cups of tea an stay calm independent? >> yes ? >> yes the phones will be busy. the question remains will the specimen sell or even reveal a record? the crowd lookss a bit thing, and there are concerns about the quality and authenticity. there are a lot of bones in this thing. how do you know they all come from the same dinosaur?
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>> we know that because we know where it was excavated and exactly where it was excavated. >> also because it's a juvenile. they are so rare, two being in the same area would be difficult to imagine it raises the stakes for science and the bidding price if it is real this is one of two in the world. where is most of the interest coming from? >> we've had interest from several museums and we've had interest from a couple of private collectors. whether any of that interest will transfer into bids, i don't know. i imagine it will, but i don't know. >> reporter: the dinosaur is only nine feet in length. museums like to go big, so that
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could mean this dinosaur would have a better chance of going to a private collector. >> so we stat lot one right now the auction is just starting the auctioneer is calling it out, the phones are ringing. we've got people bidding in the audience. it is on. >> it is with me seated into the middle of the awedor curator-- audience curator elloll fuller and one-- errol fuller and one on the phone. there are 200 auctions are being auctioned today but not like the dinosaur. there are seven more to go now until the dinosaur is up for auction.
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auction. >> 2004, 2006 this is it. we're at lot 55. we're about to find what 150 million years of history will bring. >> extremely rare, one of only a couple known in existence and we have called him little al. we will start at 150,000 pounds. 160. 170. 180. 180,000 pounds. 190 thousand. 190,000 pounds. against you on the phone. 190,000. last chance then on the telephones. 190,000. all at 190,000 pounds. come and talk to us afterwards
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190,000 pounds. i think it was lower than hoping. the future remains to be seen for this dinosaur. it only takes a few minutes and then it's over. how do you think it went? >> it was a bit of a blad bath in place-- blood bath there will be no sale today. the bid was only 190,000 from the private collector. it is below the reserve price or the owner's minimum asking pryings >> it means you're more aligned on a function of uber wealthy people and you're entirely dependentant on whether they want to play they did not sell but the story doesn't end here, right >> absolutely. now i've already been on the phone to a couple of people who are interested in buying it. it may well be we end up selling it more than we needed to. it is a great shame we didn't sell it in the auction the first time around
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interested? >> two people. it may well be that i end up talking to more the story doesn't end here in london. we're off to copenhagen to share another dinosaur that was auctioned.
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october 2009. in l.a. nevada an unlikely scene or contrast unfolds. >> 2.5 million dollars a massive t-rex named sam
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son is about to be auctioned off on the famous strip. he sold to a private collector for 4.6 million dollars. then it went on loan to oergon's museum of science and history. the skull has a glass case. it doesn't have a happy ending. after the museum exhibit ended, he was boxed up and shipped here to california. because it was bought by a private collector, the man behind dream hill software company. now the only way to see him is to go inside this building behind closed doors. inside the lobby sits what may be the most complete skull ever recovered. it is clearly a piece that would be of value to science, but it doesn't appear much science is going on here. it kind of baffles my mind that
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it is just sitting there inside this lobby, and 20 people a month go to see it. do you know where samson is now? >> i have no idea the skull of it is in the lobby of the company of the owner. the rest of the bones are in boxes. >> right. there you go this doctor over sees one of the largest fossil collections in the u.s. like many in the scientific community, he believes dinosaurs belong in museums, not sold at auction. not everyone agrees. there are scientists out there who studied dinosaurs and some of them would love to be able to work with a juvenile dinosaur of if this goes into private hands them. >> well, it might, but i'm kind of against this kind of new priesthood of academics and people that work in museums. i think there has to be a
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balance. obviously, you want them studied in the proper way, but most museums that have got dinosaurs have got more than enough on their plates to study as it is and not enough man power to do it the raymond museum in california has one of the largest collections of dinosaur tracts in the world. it is where our correspondent picks up other story >> you can work up here if you want to had this is what fossil research looks like. we were taken behind the scenes to have a look, the locker rooms, collection files, 170,000 bones, tagged and scanned in 3d. once online they will be available to anyone, anywhere to study. the
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alf gets it's bones from their own digs. in 1989 they hit pay dirt. a rare dino named joe now show kafd in their collection-- showcased in their collection. >> this is cool because it is the smallest and youngest and complete one that has ever been found this is the director of research and collections. this is here in your museum and the reason for that is because your team found it. >> yes. we found it. we collected it under permit from the bureau of land management. as part of that we agree that it will always be available for scientific study and always be public property you don't own it? >> no. it is owned by the people of the u.s. what would have been lost if he had been found on private land, dug up and then sold to a private collector?
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>> you just don't now. there's that uncertainty if it ended up in a private collection, it would not be known to science >> that is always a possibility that would be a big loss not every museum piece comes from the museums own scientist. this is misty. she was the prize at the summer's place auction. >> 400,000 pounds and sold she had a secret buyer. >> i can't tell you very much. the buyer has asked to remain anonymous it turns out it was headed for copenhagen. we visit her at denmark natural history museum are you going to celebrate? >> we were singing and dancing this is the director of exhibits here. it is one of the greatest natural history museums i've ever seen. how popular is misty.
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>> we have never had any attention from the media or from the public. we had people lining up not just in the museum but outside the museum that success comes at i price. museums can't always afford to gamble with high stakes the one that was just up for that? >> yes. but we couldn't find the money for it misty and little al were excavated by raymond. >> it's the largest one we've seen out here some call him a modern day indiana jones if he was in it for the money. he does a mix of working with museums and private >> he does. absolutely. he reference his living by collecting fossils and selling them. much of what he does ends up in museums. the museums would never get the
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stuff if it wasn't for someone like him we wanted to talk to raymond about the dinosaur and his work as a private seller of bones. at first he agreed and we were going to go to germany to meet him, but then he cancelled on us before we could buy our airline tickets. he said he was too ill and wouldn't be talking to techknow after all. in the end, little al didn't sell, not at the auction and not in the period afterwards. scientists we spoke to said they would value a chance to study the juvenile specimen. what is al's fate? will his bones sit in boxes in a basement like samson or end up in a museum like joe. scientists and dealers not involved with this sale said they were concerned this may not be a single juvenile after all
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>> the chances of two juveniles of the same species being preserved in the same area, it's virtually inconceivable that? >> that's not the case. you definitely have many instances in which multi juveniles have been found together. i'm not saying that that skeleton is not of one individual. it could perfectly well be in terms of history, the business of bones is a relative upstart. but the true value of our past lies in the mysteries long buried. that may be too high a price for any one person to pay you have to remember we're looking at something that has been buried for 150 million years. so we're the first ones to see this come in, being exposed, being unearthed. even every little square inch of
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bone that is exposed has been seen by no-one else england is full of history and this dinosaur auction is one for the books. what's the future for the business of bones? hundreds of millions of years of history has yet to determine its fate. that is it for this episode of techknow here in london. we will see you next time. dive deep into these stories and go behind the scenes at alaljazeera.com/techknow. well. >> pushing the boundaries of science. >> we are on the tipping point. >> we can save species. >> it's the biggest question out there. >> it's a revolutionary approach. >> we are pushing the boundaries. >> techknow is going to blow your mind.
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